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Ovalware vs Toddy System Side-by-Side Comparison
- Brew Quality (50%)7.8/10
- Design (15%)9.0/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.3/10
- Brew Quality (50%)10.0/10
- Design (15%)9.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.0/10
The choice between the Toddy and the Ovalware cold brew coffee maker is a choice between a genuine cold brew coffee concentrate and a regular brew. Both are excellent products although the brewing techniques used and the outcomes are very different.
The Toddy is a free-style brewing system that is geared towards brewing relatively large batches of cold brew concentrate to a ratio of 1:4.6 grounds to water. If you don’t require a large amount of coffee or a full-strength concentrate, the Ovalware will get you 30 fl. oz. of cold brew coffee that you can more or less drink straight up.
Both brewers are versatile in their own way. The Ovalware being constructed from glass and stainless steel is perfectly suited to hot brewing coffee, tea, or any other kind of beverage while the Toddy can be used for cold brewing tea with one of its included paper brew bags.
Ovalware Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Bouquet (10%)7.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.5/10
- Bouquet (10%)10/10
- Drinkability (70%)10/10
- Sediment (20%)10/10
The Oval produced a somewhat surprising bouquet, but its medium strength was more or less in line with the brew ratio. The bouquet had distinctly herbie and somewhat earthy, chocolatey notes, and we were keen to see what kind of flavor it produced.
Like a good wine, the first thing you want to note about a cold brew coffee is the bouquet. Our three coffee appreciators found that the Toddy created a rich and complex bouquet. Hearty and bright notes complemented sharp and deep ones. The sweeter notes also tended to be more floral.
With a one-to-one dilution, the Ovalware cold brew had a mildly roasted and surprisingly sweet taste. It also felt rounded and smooth, but lacked the rich complexity that our top brewer was able to produce. There was a slight bitterness, but overall the taste was very satisfying and not watery at all.
We would recommend less dilution for a more robust flavor - maybe two thirds coffee to a third of water. It may also be worth brewing for longer than our standard 18 hours.
The Toddy Cold Brew System recommends a 1:2 or a 1:3 dilution. We chose a 1:2 ratio (one part coffee to two parts water) based on a sampling of the initial brew strength.
The Toddy has so far produced the most complex flavor balance of any device we’ve tested. The overall flavor was full-bodied and well-rounded. Roasted, nutty, and chocolate flavors were strong, with a somewhat sweetish aftertaste. There was no single overpowering flavor. Our tasters also picked up a very slight bitterness and sourness.
The Toddy brew quality was excellent all around with perhaps the most complex flavor balance of any device tested.
We brewed the Ovalware undisturbed for 18 hours in a refrigerator. After allowing the contents to settle, we decanted the brew and the sediment left behind was quite substantial. Decanting the contents a second time, or even filtering through a paper filter, would probably be the best solution. However, we felt the good quality of the brew concentrate was a reasonable compromise on the filter.
While the Toddy Cold Brew System scored low in terms of the filter’s practicality and ease of use, the brew nevertheless had minimal sediment. The Toddy filter has proven one of the best we’ve seen in our testing program. Our initial test used the reusable felt filter which plugs into the bottom of the brew vessel. You can also use a paper brew bag or even double filtration if you wish.
Ovalware rj3 Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.0/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.0/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.5/10
Ovalware Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker In the Box
- Assembled brewer
- Promotional card
- User manual and warranty
The Ovalware comes neatly packaged in a custom box, but a little over packaged with plastic bubble wrap. The user manual was inside the carafe which is common but annoying because it bends. You should register your warranty on their website and there’s a handy QR code link for non-English instructions in most major languages.
- Box WDH: 7.5 x 7.5 x 11.8 inches
- Brew vessel with detachable handle
- Decanter with suction lid
- Silicone lid
- 2 felt reusable filters
- 3 paper brew bags
- Silicone stopper
- Product manual
The Toddy Cold Brew System is not only well-boxed, but also ecologically packaged with no unnecessary plastics. The decanter flask sits neatly in the brew vessel and a flip lid with a hole secures the flask in place.
The latest Toddy Brew System includes three sample paper brew bags. These can be used as alternatives to the felt filter, for extra filtration, or for tea brewing. The product manual breaks down how to do each.
Ovalware rj3 Cold Brew Decanter
- Height With Stopper Lid:8
- Base Diameter:4.7
- Width:5.5" (14.0 cm)
- Weight:17.3 oz (490 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass
The decanter is very attractive and the markings in cups and milliliters are very useful. The handle was comfortable and the flat edge easy to grip. The carafe poured well with the small lip, a nice feature that means less chance of accidental chipping.
We particularly liked the base’s silicone stand. There’s a hole to let out air and you can easily hook it off for cleaning. Overall, the carafe design is excellent.
- Height With Stopper Lid:8.7
- Base Diameter:5.1
- Width:NaN" (NaN cm)
- Weight:1.4 oz (40 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass
The elegant decanter is quite eye-catching. The ringed neck is easy to grip and pour from, but with a full-brew weight of around 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), you should use both hands. A key design feature is its height — it measures just as tall as the brew vessel, meaning it can fit the same space in your fridge.
Stopper / Lid
- Material:stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The stainless steel stopper is a nice complement to the glass design. Our only qualm was the quality and fit of the silicone seal. Without the filter, the stopper was not so tight and required a little turning to get a more airtight fit.
- Diameter:3.5 in (90 mm)
- Material:low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
- Additional Features:N/A
The stopper is another excellent design feature of the Toddy. It sits slightly above the rim, thus protecting the rim from above. The stopper also has a clever suction design and the fit is perfectly secure and airtight.
- Length:6.9" (17.5 cm)
- Material:lasered stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The filter appeared well-made and there were no sharp edges. We noticed the holes on the bottom seemed finer than on the sides. The silicone seal for the filter, and for the stopper, was not the best quality. In our testing, we have come across better quality designs, so this was a little disappointing considering the Ovalware brand status. Our brew quality test showed that the paucity of the filter allowed for a good brew to develop.
- Length:NaN" (NaN cm)
- Diameter:2.7 in (70 mm)
- Material:felt filter x 2
- Additional Features:3 paper brew bags
There are two types of filters you can use. Both are a healthy and environmental choice. The felt filter can be used up to 10 times. Newer models now include three unbleached paper filter bags. You can use a bag in lieu of a felt plug or in addition to it. The bag filter is perfect for finely ground coffee and for brewing tea. You can easily buy filter pads, Toddy brand filter bags, or generic replacements online.
Except for the compromise on the silicone stoppers, the overall design quality of the Ovalware is excellent. The filter is well-machined and the silicone cushion is an extra that you don’t often find on other cold brew coffee makers.
The Toddy is made from safe, durable, high-quality materials. We particularly liked the quality of the decanter, and the design of the decanter stopper is excellent. The silicone lid is very practical, but we, like many reviewers, felt that the handle build could be improved. The packaging is very minimal and also environmentally friendly. If anything goes wrong, Toddy offers spare parts on their website.
Ovalware Cold Brew Review
- Brewing (45%)10/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
- Brewing (45%)8.0/10
- Decanting (35%)7.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
Brewing steps are clearly outlined in the manual. They recommend weighing 85 g (3 oz) of medium to coarse ground coffee which is a little more than 80% of the filter volume. Then pour room temperature filtered water slowly over the grounds. You should stir and mix the grounds a little. Like any immersion brewer, we found brewing simple and effortless.
The Toddy Cold Brew System’s felt filter demands a bit more precision than most other brewers. You must add water and grounds in a staggered manner and be careful not to stir the contents. Also, it takes some time to properly wet the grounds by gently pushing them down and mixing in.
If you use a paper bag filter for brewing, it’s a lot easier. Just add the grounds and water, and you can stir around the contents all you want. If you try to stir without the paper bag, the felt filter will clog. The process takes a few brews to master.
The lack of measurement markings on the brew vessel is an unfortunate oversight. Therefore, we had to weigh grounds for each brewing. The brewer vessel may also be a bit heavy for some. We found it best to carry with two hands, but removing the detachable handle made it easier to fit the refrigerator.
Like brewing, decanting was straightforward. As with any immersion filter, you simply lift it out of the carafe and place it in a small cup to catch the remaining liquid. The holes on the bottom of the filter make decanting fast and effortless. After decanting, we rinsed off the stopper even though there were no granules present.
Due to the amount of sediment left behind, we recommend a second decanting at the expense of a little extra work. The more health conscious may want to use a paper filter at the same time.
- Total height when decanting: 15 in (380 mm)
Decanting is simple enough. You hold the brew vessel by the handle, pull the stopper, and slip it onto the decanter. The liquid won’t immediately come out, so it’s unlikely to make a mess.
We found, however, that the lively stream can slow to a steady drip. The felt plug filter was temperamental. We actually had to remove the contents of the brew vessel, clean the filter, and then resume. Decanting can thus take 20 to 40 minutes.
Alternatively, you can use a paper bag filter. This works out better and decanting takes 20 minutes or less.
The filter pad, despite its drawbacks, produced the best filtration results. It may also help remove coffee oils, especially if you use an additional paper brew bag. The biggest disadvantage is that you’ll need to continue buying replacement filters and/or bags.
Cleaning and Storage
The shape of the Ovalware carafe means that you need to clean it with a bottle brush. Although slightly more effort is needed than other brewers, it’s a small compromise on a design that works comparatively well. The filter requires a bottle brush too, however, all parts can go in the dishwasher.
The Ovalware cold brew coffee maker simply stores as it is. We noted that the silicone base is an excellent design feature for safer storage. The glass doesn’t bang and the sides are protected from scratching.
- Storage Diameter: 8.6”
- Storage Deight: 11”
The Toddy Cold Brew System has minimal components, so storage is straightforward. The brew vessel is easy to clean and all parts can go into a dishwasher, but hand washing is recommended for a longer lifespan.
The decanter neck is wide enough for all but the largest of hands to reach in and clean. It fits comfortably into the brew vessel for storage. Since the silicone lid is flexible, it too slips in nicely.
The felt filter, however, must be placed in a plastic bag while wet and then put into the refrigerator, which is a little inconvenient. You can easily keep the silicone stopper in the brew vessel when not in use, or place it into the empty decanter.